Traditionally, addiction treatment facilities have focused on mental health issues and substance abuse separately, with the majority of programs wanting sobriety first before providing treatment for mental health. This method has been challenged, as many patients with co-occurring disorders have greater symptom severity and as a result have a harder time achieving abstinence without the necessary support.
The Solution To This Problem
Co-occurring disorder treatment, which may also be known as dual diagnosis treatment, is seen as the solution to this dilemma. It does this through offering simultaneous service for two disorders, which creates the needed foundation for achieving abstinence during the time the patient receives treatment. However, it is first important to understand why patients with dual diagnosis find it hard to get suitable treatment.
Challenges That Those With Dual Diagnosis Face
While the standard care offered by most rehab centers have been effective in treating those that have a single diagnosis, they have been less effective in the treatment of those that display a dual diagnosis. Some of the reasons for this include insurance coverage, as a number of insurance companies provide limited coverage for mental health treatment and will usually expect a single physician to offer a complete range of options. This results in many people not receiving the care they need.
The second reason is symptoms which remain undiagnosed. Mental health disorders and substance abuse come with a separate collection of symptoms, which the untrained eye will miss if they’re only paying attention to one aspect. Many individuals who have mental health problems will use drugs as a way of self-medicating themselves, which makes their outward behavior confusing to some.
The Healthcare Field Is Highly Specialized
While many doctors treat mental disorders in a direct manner, substance abuse requires the assistance of many medical care professionals. However, the medical field is highly specialized and most healthcare providers only have expertise in a single area. This means the treatment they provide is limited and not as effective when dealing with those that have a dual diagnosis.
The Benefits of Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Rehab treatment which emphasizes dual diagnosis can be highly effective in those that have multiple disorders. The reason for this is because it provides a more comprehensive behavioral and pharmacological approach that is used in tandem as opposed to separately. Also, inpatient dual diagnosis services offer around the clock monitoring in which recovering addicts will achieve abstinence in an environment which is safe and controlled.
The best treatment centers are those which offer services that are well rounded, and most important of all, individualized. While all addicts will display certain similarities the fact remains that they are all unique individuals and as such solutions must be developed which are suited to their individual needs and situations. Dual diagnosis treatment is considered by many experts in the rehab industry to be the future of treatment and will better the lives of many.